MAIS program design

The Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies is a 55-credit master's degree, consisting of core courses and a capstone, electives and a final thesis or project. Classes are taught in the evenings.

Graduate Writing and Research, Core Courses and Capstone

The graduate research and writing course introduces skills to understand published research and to formulate research questions. We recommend that you take this course as early as possible in your graduate studies.

The four core courses are closely integrated, constituting a single, extended investigation of how issues and problems are evaluated in the process of taking action. The courses examine analytical tools and how social and organizational cultures influence the work required in moving toward taking action. These courses may be taken in any order.

You will enroll in the capstone course after the completion of the core course series. The capstone provides a forum for re-integrating and considering how the separate themes of the four core courses can be applied to your areas of interest and create a framework for your thesis or project.

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Electives in the Area of Emphasis

As a masters student, you will work with a faculty advisor to develop a focus within your chosen area of interest. The required ten (10) credits of electives should be chosen carefully in consultation with your faculty advisor, as stepping stones toward the substance of your thesis or project. In addition to elective courses developed specifically for the Master of Arts degree, students can select from a wide range of courses offered at UW Tacoma, including some of those offered in other UW graduate programs. Several independent study options are also available.

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Thesis or Project

The final product of your graduate program is a thesis or scholarly project that demonstrates a level of competence equivalent to a thesis. You will negotiate specific thesis questions that focus on your chosen goals and areas of interest in consultation with your faculty advisor or thesis chair. It is the student's responsibility to eventually recruit a thesis chair and at least one other reader to constitute a thesis committee. The chair may be the faculty advisor or someone else whose area of expertise most overlaps with the focus of the thesis or project.

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